Pay attention to the blue tile i swapped over, by recording and converting my gameplay to a gif. I confirmed countering the ballistas do a ton of damage. In my case 17280 damage (You have to take out all 3 ballistas by matching tiles around them to counter it with his own ballista damage). To answer people’s question if you can counter it with it’s own damage, yes! @Zhyan explains your 70k+ damage.
So it makes me and possibly all of you think, it’s better to let it use it’s ability than stunning it? Well i see this as a high risk reward. If you choose to avoid stunning it with yellow tiles and let it use it’s ability then fine. Be prepared as you only have 3 turns to take out all the ballistas. The risk? Well if you cannot take out all 3, it will attack 1 of your dragons in your team dealing a lot of damage and possibly get’s knocked out of battle meaning you can no longer use the dragon for the rest of the alpha battle. If you choose to stun and deal the extra damage counter color tiles do, fine again. It’s really risk for more damage… Taking risks to your advantage can get you high damage on shellfire or fail and take the ballista damage upon yourself. But it’s a matter for you. If you have any questions or a comment you know what to do. I hope this helps help understand what the update has changed with alphas.
Edit: Do you think this tactic is an overpowered advantage or do you think it is simply balanced? Please share your thoughts.)